"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Webster defines “independent” as:
“not dependent: as
a (1) : not subject to control by others : SELF-GOVERNING (2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit
b (1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent (2) : not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct (3) : not bound by or committed to a political party “
Hmmmmm……“not bound or committed to a political party.” The Obama administration has frequently described the Administrative Review Board (ARB) which was appointed to investigate the attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, as “independent.” In testimony before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee yesterday, leaders of the ARB offered testimony that “further undermined the already-tattered credibility of their own probe.”
In their sworn testimony, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen described “their friendly, even collaborative dealings with the top State Department officials who were ostensibly among the subjects of their investigation." In so doing, they “validated the skepticism of their critics, and raised many new questions about the “independence” of their work and the reliability of their conclusions.” Their testimony also made it clear that the ARB probe was neither “exhaustive” (as the Obama administration has claimed) nor independent.”
Among the revelations from the testimony:
“*Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handpicked the two leaders of the ARB who were given the job of investigating her department.
*Cheryl Mills, the chief of staff and senior counselor to Secretary Clinton, was intimately involved with the ARB panel from the beginning. She called the leaders at Clinton’s behest to ask them to serve, she was briefed regularly on the investigation as it unfolded and she received a draft copy of the report before it was finalized.
*Several senior Clinton advisers were provided draft copies of the ARB report before it was released to the public.
*The vice chairman of the ARB testified that he called Mills to warn her that an impending appearance of Charlene Lamb before Congress would be problematic for the State Department. Lamb had done poorly in her interview with the ARB, Mullen said, and he called Mills because he was worried that a poor performance before Congress would cause problems for the State Department and its leadership. When Representative Jim Jordan asked Mullen if he would have placed the call to Mills if Lamb had performed well, he said no.
*The chairman of the panel acknowledged at least one instance in which language in the report was softened after an early draft was sent to Clinton and her top aides. “The draft, as I believe it went to her, said the security posture was grossly inadequate for Benghazi, period. And we made the editorial correction recognizing that there was certainly a very real point that ‘grossly’ was probably not applicable to Benghazi in light of the changes that the State Department had made, but it was clearly applicable to dealing with the specific circumstances of the attack.”
*The vice chairman testified in his deposition that the ARB received “very specific tasking from Secretary Clinton on her expectations with respect to this board” and that nobody on the board had any input on the scope of their work.
*The panel was largely staffed by current and former State Department officials and worked out of State Department offices.
*The ARB did not speak with nine key military officials on the ground in Libya or Germany who were deeply involved in the US response to the attacks. Among those who was never interviewed: Lt. Colonel Steven Gibson, who was on the ground in Tripoli and whom State Department official Greg Hicks has testified was on the receiving end of the “stand-down” order that Obama officials have repeatedly disclaimed.
*Although the ARB did not interview Secretary Clinton as part of its investigation, they provided her with a two-hour briefing about the details of the report before it was finalized and released to the public.
*The board did not interview either Cheryl Mills or Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, another close adviser to Clinton.
*None of the interviews the ARB conducted were recorded in any fashion – no audio, no video, no court reporter. The only record of those sessions is in notes taken by a staff member. According to the vice chairman: “The staff would put a summary of the interview together. We would – the members would be able to review that summary shortly after the interview.” (Those summaries and the notes that produced them have not been provided to Congress).
*The ARB did not investigate the Obama administration’s public response to the attack or the role that senior State Department officials played in shaping that narrative. That response included the highly misleading claim that the attacks had come as a reaction to an anti-Islam video and many other claims that were later shown to be false. Emails between top State Department officials and others in the Obama administration, first reported by TWS last spring, revealed that several top State Department officials were involved in crafting the administration’s post-attack talking points. And Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the United Nations, a top State Department official, famously blamed the video in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly after the attack. The ARB wasn’t interested.”
For the above quoted material, see: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/administrations-benghazi-review-board-discredit-themselves-congressional-hearing_756452.html
All of the above clearly demonstrate that the administration’s ARB “independent investigation” into the Benghazi fiasco was nothing more than a sham designed primarily to preserve, protect and defend the political viability of Hillary Rodham Clinton. And where has the mainstream media been while all of this white-washing has been going on? Out to lunch – as usual. As pointed out in the above cite:
“If more news organizations were covering Benghazi as a legitimate news story, the ARB hearings, and the lengthy depositions that preceded them, would represent a significant development. For nine months, top Obama administration officials have used the ARB report as something of a shield, portraying the probe as exhaustive and independent in order to deflect the many unanswered questions about Benghazi that remain. And because the new, discrediting information about the ARB comes from the ARB leaders themselves–in their own words, not those of their critics–defenders of the administration will have a hard time dismissing it as partisan.
All of this is, by definition, “news.” Will it get covered? Unlikely. JC Derrick, a political reporter who covered the hearings for World Magazine, a right-leaning Christian publication, says he saw a note from one reporter in the room at the hearing. It read: “My proposed lede: ‘Nothing new on Benghazi was revealed today.’ The End.’””
Hopefully these new revelations will spur an outcry from the public that the Benghazi affair be investigated INDEPENDENTLY, and that the evidence of wrongdoing (and non-doing) be pursued completely and properly.
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